In its per curiam decision ordered on May 28th, the Supreme Court (“SCOTUS”) issued orders which PLLDF finds both discouraging and encouraging. Box, et. al. v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc., et. al.
One new provision of Indiana law had regulated the disposition of fetal remains by abortion providers; another had barred the knowing provision of abortions based solely upon the sex, race, or disability of the fetus by abortion providers. The U.S. Court of Appeals (“USCA”) for the Seventh Circuit had found both laws unconstitutional. SCOTUS granted certiorari and reversed the Court of Appeals on the challenge concerning disposition of fetal remains. It denied certiorari on the second issue, thereby prohibiting Indiana from enforcing its restrictions on abortion. Significantly, SCOTUS noted that its denial did not express any view on the merits of the second issue, but was merely following its ordinary practice of denying petitions insofar as they raise legal issues that have not been considered, by additional Courts of Appeal (only the Seventh Circuit has thus far addressed this kind of law).
Justice Clarence Thomas’ 20-page concurrence is particularly encouraging. He stated that “This case highlights the fact that abortion is an act rife with the potential for abortion to become a tool of eugenic manipulation.” Thomas added, “the Court will soon need to confront the constitutionality of laws like Indiana’s,” and admonished that “Enshrining a constitutional right to an abortion based solely on the race, sex, or disability of an unborn child, as Planned Parenthood advocates, would constitutionalize the views of the 20th-century eugenics movement.”
Justice Thomas’ concurrence cites PLLDF’s amicus brief two times, highlighting Indiana’s regret over its role in the eugenics movement and its desire for Indiana citizens to both “become familiar with the history of the eugenics movement” and to “repudiate the many laws passed in the name of eugenics and reject any such laws in the future.”
The full opinion can be accessed by clicking here.
PLLDF’s brief can be accessed here.
PLLDF believes it is important for the public to consider and appreciate the sometimes obscure relationship between abortion and eugenics. If you would like to support PLLDF’s efforts in areas of litigation and education, please consider making a contribution today by clicking here.